Amazon not taking on Cisco

amazonAmazon Web Services (AWS) has denied that it is planning to launch a range of network switches to compete with the likes of Cisco.

Cisco said that the pair’s CEOs recently had a chin-wag about the news and AWS’ boss had ruled it out.

The Cisco statement, first published by MarketWatch, said: “Cisco and AWS have a longstanding customer and partner relationship, and during a recent call between Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and AWS CEO Andy Jassy, Andy confirmed that AWS is not actively building a commercial network switch.”

MarketWatch also said that an AWS spokesperson confirmed the statement.

For those who came in late there were some serious reports that AWS was planning an assault on the networking market to help tempt users to its public cloud.

Cisco, Juniper and Arista all saw their share prices plummet.

Cisco’s share price has jumped over three percent in the wake of AWS’ denial, while Juniper’s climbed more than two percent.

Ignition switches on Demisto in channel expansion

DemistSecurity distributor Ignition Technology today announced it has added Demisto to its portfolio as the vendor ramps up channel expansion plans for its automated incident response and security orchestration platform.

In addition to identifying and recruiting suitable reseller partners, Ignition is including Demisto in its business development team focused on lead generation, and using its technical capabilities to optimise service delivery in the UK and Northern Europe.

Sean Remnant, Chief Strategy Officer at Ignition Technology said:  “The automated, easy-to-deploy nature of the technology is highly beneficial to customers struggling to resource their security operations centres (SOCs) amid the worsening global cybersecurity skills crisis. There is a lot of opportunity for partners to position the product with new and existing accounts, but in the first instance our approach is to focus on a few key vendor synergies and target opportunities for partners looking to develop their service offerings.”

Sporting integrations with over 180 security products and growing, the Demisto platform is already proving popular among channel partners. Its introduction to the UK market via Ignition is coinciding with the appointment of key in-region sales and technical personnel, who will work closely with Ignition to accelerate market expansion.

“With a strong channel ecosystem and security sales expertise, we are confident partnering with Ignition delivers a proven approach to supercharging our sales efforts in EMEA”, said Bob Kruse, VP Sales and Alliances at Demisto. “Ignition understands the channel opportunities around next-generation security technology and has the relationships and technical know-how to help us grow – not just in the SOC market but as we extend our proposition into security task automation and orchestration in general.”


Ruckus on Cloud programme

lightning-cloudRuckus Networks has announced its new Cloud-Ready Specialisation Programme for channel partners. Designed specifically to help Ruckus channel partners expand into new, fast-growing market segments and gain renewable revenue streams, the programme includes tools, training, technical support and incentives to enable new and existing Ruckus Ready channel partners to drive Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi sales.

Market research firm IDC reports that cloud-managed Wi-Fi is growing at double-digit rates year-over-year, making it the fastest-growing segment of the Wi-Fi infrastructure market.  More organisations are seeking out a cloud WLAN management solution for their distributed Wi-Fi sites due to its many advantages, including faster scalability, ease of management, and a pay-as-you-grow subscription model. The new Ruckus Cloud-Ready Specialisation Programme is designed to equip channel partners with the knowledge and resources required to address this growing demand and win new Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi customers.

Ruckus vice president of business development and cloud servicesBart Giordano said: “We are committed to helping channel partners differentiate themselves through our specialisation programmes. Our new Cloud-Ready Specialisation programme gives channel partners the right tools, support and incentives to address customer requirements across vertical markets such as retail, small-and-medium business, hospitality and education.”

Available to Select- and Elite-level partners, the Cloud-Ready Specialisation Programme provides valuable incentives along with “white glove” sales and marketing support to help partners successfully win new Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi business. Exclusive benefits include:

There are promotional discounts for Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi and Market Development Funds (MDF)—partners who meet the programme requirements are eligible for MDF to help support their marketing efforts.

Ruckus will provide sales leads for prospective clients from organisations that have requested trials of Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi.

Engineering and tech support—dedicated Ruckus Cloud experts, including account managers and technical experts, and access to 24/7 technical support, designed to ensure company and partner success.

This adds to the existing Ruckus Partner Specialisation programmes, including Smart Cities, Large Public Venue and Education programmes.

Director of worldwide partner programme Raelyn Kritzer said that it was all part of a cunning plan to help partners drive more value for customers in target markets.

“We are completely dedicated to bringing opportunity to our partners with continued investment in specialisations that attract, retain and grow the best channel ecosystem.”


AI will create more jobs than it kills

1200px-Unemployed_men_queued_outside_a_depression_soup_kitchen_opened_in_Chicago_by_Al_Capone,_02-1931_-_NARA_-_541927Analyst outfit PwC claims that 7.2 million jobs will be created by AI over the next two decades which will mean more UK jobs than it erases

The firm claims that AI will create around 7.2 million jobs in the UK between 2017 and 2037, while displacing seven million others.

More than 20 percent of jobs will be automated by 2037 and that all industries will be affected by AI, the report said.

The healthcare sector will see a net boost in jobs of 22 percent between 2017 and 2037 as a result of AI.

The professional, scientific and technical sector is predicted to see a net job increase of 16 percent, with a six percent net jobs increase expected in the education sector. A full table of the predictions can be found below.

The manufacturing industry is forecast to be the hardest hit, with net jobs expected to fall by 25 percent. Net jobs in the transport and storage sector are predicted to decline by 22 per cent, with net public administration roles expected to be reduced by 18 percent.

John Hawksworth, PwC chief economist, said: “Healthcare is likely to see rising employment as it will be increasingly in demand as society becomes richer and the UK population ages.

“While some jobs may be displaced, many more are likely to be created as real incomes rise and patients still want the ‘human touch’ from doctors, nurses and other health and social care workers.

“On the other hand, as driverless vehicles roll out across the economy and factories and warehouses become increasingly automated, the manufacturing and transportation and storage sectors could see a reduction in employment levels.”

Hawksworth compared AI’s effect on job creation and losses to similar patterns that occurred due to other disruptive technologies in the past.

“Major new technologies, from steam engines to computers, displace some existing jobs but also generate large productivity gains. This reduces prices and increases real income and spending levels, which in turn creates demand for additional workers,” he said.

“Our analysis suggests the same will be true of AI, robots and related technologies, but the distribution of jobs across sectors will shift considerably in the process.”



Rubrik scores AWS recognition

rub5_1Cloud Data Management outfit Rubrik has obtained Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Competency. This means that the outfit can provide technology to help customers work on AWS.

This moves Rubrick up the AWS greasy pole in the AWS Partner Network (APN) particularly in the Backup & Recovery and Archive area.  To achieve the AWS Storage Competency, APN Technology Partners must also deliver solutions seamlessly on AWS.

Rubrik Vice President, Business Development Ranajit Nevatia said that the move underscores the companies technical knowledge of AWS and track-record  of delivering customer success

“Our goal is to provide enterprises with a simpler, faster and future-proof cloud data management solution.”

Rubrik’s platform now supports multiple AWS storage classes for  Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (Amazon S3 Standard -IA), and Amazon Glacier.

Rubrik’s platform lets both commercial businesses and government agencies to securely manage data from creation to expiration with end-to-end encryption. Rubrik supports AWS GovCloud and government infrastructure offerings from AWS, including advanced secure services like Commercial Cloud Services (C2S).


Microsoft tells partners what it wants

6139f28525a88e9a1c0be7015f4e1889Microsoft’s commercial VP Judson Althoff outlined a glorious five areas for partners  which he expects them to focus on in the coming Aeon.

Talking to the assembed throngs at Vole’s Inspire partner conference in Las Vegas he said there there five areas that partners should focus – culture, enterprise accounts, customer acquisition, customer retention and learning.

Althoff explained that he wants partners to mimic the atmosphere that Microsoft has developed internally. While many might think this was fear, he claimed it was one of having a growth mindset.

“You cannot bring solutions like the ones that you’ve seen and the ones I’ve talked about today… without investing in your own potential and investing in the fact that all potential can be nurtured. For us inside the company, it’s about operating as one Microsoft and being obsessed over our customers. It’s also about diversity and inclusion, and I slow down to say each of those words separately because each of them are important”, he said.

Vole wants to focus on deepening its reach into enterprise accounts by building out specialist capabilities in different industries.

This process, he said, will see Microsoft call for more bespoke solutions developed by independent software vendors and partners.

Althoff claimed that the vendor will be investing in helping partners develop their own learning capabilities.

“We’re going to invest heavily in learning and readiness because, once again, if you don’t do these things, you can’t nurture your potential”, he said.

“I’m really excited that we’ll be rolling out a brand new learning platform this year, and we’re rolling it out simultaneously internally and externally because, once again, you are an extension of everything we do.

“We’re going to revolutionise role-based learning like no company has ever done before in quick and nimble ways, across sales readiness as well as hands-on technical.”

Althoff also praised Microsoft’s wider commercial strategy, following an overhaul of the structure last year.

For those who did not know, Althoff said that Vole’s crown jewels were its One Commercial Partner Programme.

“It really enabled us over this last year to build more with you – in fact, five times as many solutions are available today versus one year ago in our commercial marketplace.  That’s all of your hard work and effort building code, investing in intellectual property, differentiated by industry to make a difference for our customers.

“We then took those solutions to market – tens of thousands of wins across these new solutions sold with you, effectively, to deliver more for our customers.

“This commercial model is resonating and it’s going to remain steadfast and be a consistent part of our strategy moving into FY19.”

UKFast sets up ClearCloud for public projects

two-clouds-1385018843_27_contentfullwidthUKFast has set up a cloud subsidiary to gain public cloud offerings to market to run alongside its own hybrid and private operations.

The big idea is to set up ClearCloud as a subsidiary using AWS and Azure and its own eCloud hybrid and private options.

It is being run by former AWS global architect Matt Bibby who is joining as managing director of the subsidiary with a brief to build on the growth that the firm managed to generate with its hybrid and private cloud solutions in the last year.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said that last year the company grew 18 percent and its eCloud revenue rocketed by 43 percent of the companies overall turnover.

“By widening our offering to organisations needing multi-cloud solutions we are able to attract even more businesses to UKFast”, he said.

Jones said that while WS and Azure were public platforms that had wide distribution its high service levels would set it apart from rivals.

PC shipments back to growth

131010125011-pc-sales-1024x576Beancounters at Big G have declared that the fall of the PC is finally over and worldwide PC shipments are finally back up.

Gartner boffins declared a modest growth in PC sales of just 1.4 percent during Q2 2018, year on year, totalling 62.1 million units.

The growth was led by the market’s top five vendors – Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple and Acer Group. Gartner said as many as three out of four PCs were shipped by these firms in the second quarter of 2018. Vendors outside the top five saw a decline of 12.9 percent year on year.

Principal analyst at Gartner Mikako Kitagawa, said: “PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment.”

Kitagawa added that long-held troubles in the PC market continue to be influenced by smartphones continuing to dominate consumer behaviour.

“In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes on PC user behaviour, still remains, and continues to impact market growth.

“Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.”

However, this joy is not expected to last. Even for vendors currently enjoying PC growth, Kitagawa issued a warning: “In the business segment, PC momentum will weaken in two years when the replacement peak for Windows 10 passes.

“PC vendors should look for ways to maintain growth in the business market as the Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off.”


EACS swallows Sentronex

shark_attack_painting-t2 (1)Managed service provider EACS has acquired London-based disaster recovery specialist and Cisco and Microsoft partner Sentronex.

Kevin Timms, CEO at EACS, said the acquisition comes as the firm prepares to hit £30 million revenue for its 2018 financial year.

EACS previously reported a revenue of £16.1 million in the year ending 31 March 2017.

Timms said: “Sentronex has built a well-deserved reputation for great service within the financial services sector over many years.

“This acquisition enables us to add a fantastic set of clients to our business from a base in London of high-quality technical resources.

“Significantly, Sentronex’s disaster recovery services adds an important new dimension to our managed services portfolio and Sentronex customers will have the advantage of EACS’s end-to-end cloud and business consultancy portfolio.”

Sentronex will continue to trade as a separate business but will be fully integrated into EACS.

Sentronex CEO Mark Parnell-Hopkinson, who will exit the business following the acquisition said that it was a great move for Sentronex and its clients.

“Sentronex customers gain an important level of scale and breadth of service provision that will be a big advantage to them and our employees”, he said.



Inoapps releases Oracle podcasts

radio Oracle Platinum Reseller Inoapps has launched a series of podcasts for customers and other stakeholders.

The fortnightly podcasts aim to share ideas and concepts from Inoapps’ experience around the globe, whilst also exploiting the company’s closeness with Oracle itself. The podcasts will cover a variety of topic areas including:

• Interviews with Oracle Management

• Interviews with Inoapps’ customers from around the globe

• Customer Case Studies

• Best practice ideas and policies

• Market trends and topical themes

• Views from the US and ASEAN territories

• Technical Product Assistance and Guidance

Inoapps’ Head of UK and EMEA Region, Andrew Norris, said in a statement : “As a global player with operations in the US, the ASEAN territories and EMEA, Inoapps has a wealth of expertise and advice that it can share with other Oracle users. We can also draw upon the exceptionally strong relationship with Oracle that we have built up as a frequent recipient of Oracle partner awards across the years. From our customer research, we know that podcasts are an ideal medium for dissemination of key content and customer information – hence our significant and ongoing investment in this format.

“The first podcast is an interview with Oracle’s Simon Hill, who highlights the important role partners can play in helping customers to optimise their use of Oracle systems once deployed. Our next Podcast features Caroline Apsey; Technology Evangelist for Oracle who will be discussing Women in Technology.”

The first episode can be found at this link, below…

Apple Podcasts


Extreme Networks gets into Gartner’s top band

gartnerExtreme Networks has been named as a Leader by Gartner in the analyst outfits “Magic Quadrant” for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure.

According to Gartner: “A vendor in the Leaders quadrant will have demonstrated an ability to fulfil a broad variety of customer requirements through the breadth of its access layer product family. Leaders will have the ability to shape the market and provide complete and differentiating access layer applications, as well as global service and support. Leaders should have demonstrated the ability to maintain strong relationships with their channels and customers, and have no obvious gaps in their portfolios.”

Prior to 2018, Extreme Networks appeared as a “Visionary” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure for three consecutive years.

Since the last report published in 2017, Extreme completed its acquisition of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.’s data center networking business, its third in a series of acquisitions since October 2016. Extreme also launched its Smart OmniEdge solution comprised of a secure, unified wired/wireless infrastructure and AI-driven management capabilities, accessible through a single pane of glass.

Ed Meyercord, President and CEO, Extreme Networks said that Extreme Networks’ entrance into the Leaders quadrant as a vendor offering wired and wireless LAN access infrastructure was a true milestone.

“To us, it is an honour to be recognised by a source like Gartner in its Magic Quadrant. It is our fifth consecutive year appearing in this reference guide for our customers and partners.”

3D printers go boom in Europe

91c25b48-d330-4342-914a-cb68bc61f687European purchases of 3D printers, materials, software, and related services are expected to total $3.6 billion in 2017, according to beancounters at IDC.

According to the latest update to the Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), the combined spending on 3D printing for Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe will experience a five-year compound annual growth rate  of 15.3 percent, with revenues reaching $7.4 billion in 2022.

Western Europe delivered 83 per cent  of total European 3D printing revenues in 2017 and will remain by far the largest contributor in the wider European region, growing at a CAGR of 14.4 percent for 2017–2022. Central and Eastern Europe will be the fastest-growing region, however, with a CAGR of 19.1 percent for 2017–2022.

IDC research manager, European Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions Julio Vial said the 3D printing market is evolving rapidly, with the European market continuing to show good momentum and 2018 proving to be a turning point.

“3D printing has the potential to expand the manufacturing industry, shift distribution locally, and implement on-demand production, reducing unnecessary inventories and shipping costs. It will enable mass customization and printing of different products while reducing costs and recycling excess printer powder. Product weight can also be reduced, and fewer tools will be needed because 3D printers can replace some of them”, Vail said.

Though 3D printing hardware generated the largest spending in 2017, the focus on materials will drive associated spending in the coming years, with a CAGR of 20 per cent in the forecast period, exceeding the hardware component. Services will remain a key part of the market, as consulting and system integration services are a critical component of the 3D printing solution deployment.

Computacenter expects to be in the money this year

Surprise Kitten Kittens Cat Money Animals Pet

Computacenter has told the City that its  full-year results to be “comfortably in excess of previous expectations”.

Computacenter said it has gathered traction across all geographies of its supply chain business, but Germany, in particular, stands out.

“The six months of trading to 30 June 2018 shows considerable progress for Computacenter in adjusted profitability, and even further progress in adjusted earnings per share following the buyback completed in February 2018, against the same period last year.

“While there is still a significant amount to do in the second half of the year, Computacenter’s board believes that the group’s trading result for the 2018 financial year will now be comfortably in excess of its previous expectations set out in the Q1 trading update.”

In the Q1 update, Computacenter said that the UK business had seen revenue growth of 31 percent, driven by a one off £34 million deal in particular.



Exertis thinks it can make it in New York

Statue-of-LibertyDCC Technology, which trades as Exertis, has made its US debut by writing a cheque for a 210 employee audiovisual distributor.

DCC Technology has acquired Stampede, a New York-based AV distributor which also owns projector lamp brand Just Lamps.

The move starts to make it clear why former Dell-EMC UK boss Tim Griffin was recently appointed to the post of DCC Technology managing director. Stampede will add a new brand to the DCC Technology stable that complements UK and European brand Exertis, Griffin explained in a statement.

“By establishing a presence in North America, we will be strategically positioned to leverage all of the new opportunities we expect to develop as a result of this acquisition”, Griffin said.

Based in Amherst, New York, Stampede carries over 150 AV vendors and also owns Just Lamps, which it claims offers the world’s largest selection of replacement projector lamps.

It also has offices in Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and boasts a network of 20,000 reseller globally.

Kevin Kelly, Stampede, president and CEO, said: “Supported by the resources and long-term commitment of DCC, our employees, resellers and vendor partners will see an exciting evolution in how we go to market and the level of investment we can now make to grow our business. For our vendors, this means greater reach and scale. For our resellers, this means more investment in inventory and more, new, product categories than ever before.”


Exclusive Networks gets Irish base

irelandFrench Exclusive Group has bought Dublin-based VAD NextGen for an undisclosed sum providing the company with an Irish base.

NextGen has been in business since 2009 and counts Palo Alto Networks, Proofpoint, Arbor Networks and A10 Networks among its vendor partners. NextGen’s management team will remain in place, with country manager Gerry Sheldrick charged with leading further expansion in the Irish market.

Exclusive Group’s COO Barrie Desmond said that the acquisition has trebled his outfit’s customer base in Ireland.

He said that while the company did a lot of Irish business, it needed a footprint.  We had a pod of people working in the territory, but this is the first time we’ve had a physical presence. The plan is to take on the existing vendors they have in Palo Alto Networks and Proofpoint and customers.

Exclusive Group is not the only one making a play in Ireland  Computacenter and Softcat are doing the same thing. This is likely as there is a huge amount of datacentre and cloud activity [in Ireland] and a huge amount of investment.